April 20, 2022
How Holston & Garner IT Came Together to Create Something Great
A few of you have asked,
“How did Holston IT and Garner IT come together and create Tech Eagles?”
Here is a brief attempt to encapsulate the Tech Eagles story:
In October 2018, CAT 5 Hurricane Michael struck Garner IT Consulting and the Panama City region. Unlike most tropical storms, Michael unexpectedly gained momentum through the gulf, reaching a peak at landfall. Many had evacuated their homes and businesses; others had boarded up and were stocking up on supplies to withstand the storm. Unfortunately, there is no way to adequately prepare for a natural disaster.
What Garner IT had worked hard serving Panama City, FL in the years and months leading up to Michael to lay a foundation of sufficient data backups and secure networks so small businesses in the community could focus their efforts on rebuilding brick and mortar and not code and data. However, Garner felt the effects of Michael just like other small businesses, staff members stepping back to take care of their families, clients potentially out of business, limited power, and even more limited supplies. Jeff, Garner’s Operations Manager had taken up refuge with his family for several days in a local church. Once the worst of the storm had passed, he made the difficult trip back home to find the house unlivable for his family of six.
Fortunately, Jeff had relatives in Kingsport, TN that were able to house the six of them, so the journey began, through Newnan, GA where both vehicles were broken into by vandals. After finally making it to Kingsport, TN, and getting settled in with their family, Jeff resumed working for Garner IT in a remote capacity. While slowly falling in love with the charm of the Appalachian Mountains, he began to contemplate the idea of relocating permanently. Of course, nothing was set in Appalachian stone, he still had to find a job. With the transition still in limbo, Jeff and his family returned to Panama City to regroup and reevaluate their trajectory.
Garner IT was burning the candle at both ends working tirelessly to help their clients rebuild their networks and their friends rebuild their homes. The company was beyond a decade in business and was having to virtually start all over again from the ground up. This was a challenge no owner wants to face, especially not singlehandedly and if you have ever met Randall Garner, he is the type of man to offer the shirt off his back in the middle of a blizzard.
As Jeff continued to be a superhero, juggling the repairs on his home, caring for his family of six, continuing his role with Garner IT, and still contemplating the relocation to Kingsport, he stumbled across Holston IT’s website. He penned an email to Tim explaining his experience with Garner IT, his desire to move, and extended an offer to help Holston IT in their operations. To which Tim, in true fashion responded “That’s interesting. I’m looking and thinking, thanks, Jeff.”
Meanwhile, in Appalachia, Tim and the Holston IT team had reached a plateau, concluding that the next logical step was to bolster their operational process. Which raised the biggest question…how? After several brainstorming sessions, the team agreed that they needed to bring on an Operations Manager. Little did they know, one was about to find them! Not long after Holston IT decides to start searching for their newest team member, Tim gets an email from a gentleman named Jeff who sounds like a superhero (honestly, he probably is). He is now faced with the very real task of determining whether Holston IT is fully prepared to hire a seasoned Operations Manager.
The first step is to have a conversation, just like a phishing scam, an email can say one thing and you can get something completely different. Within a week, Tim and Jeff scheduled a time to meet, just a conversational interview if you will, nothing too formal.
Jeff, noticed instant similarities between Holston IT and Garner IT during his discussion with Tim, mentioning a few and even proposing the possibility of a synergistic relationship between the two companies. This conversation was the first of many between Tim, Randall, and Jeff. Tim and his son Peter from Holston IT loaded up and flew down to Panama City to help Randall get his client’s back up and running from the extensive CAT 5 hurricane damage.
In April 2019, Jeff transitioned to Kingsport and would continue his role with Garner IT remotely. Randall and Tim continued to discuss, plan, deliberate, rework, and budget with the determination that a partnership was the best course for not only both companies but also the owners.
A simple conversation lead to dreaming which lead to planning which lead to walking side by side as Holston and Garner IT and now to flying as the Tech Eagles!
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life, it turns what we have into enough and more, it turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, it can turn a house into a home it can turn a stranger into a friend. The sense of our past brings peace for today and creates vision for tomorrow.
– Margaret Beaty